No obligation to support Trump policies

No obligation to support Trump policies

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Robert Wilkinson persists in asking that all Americans “try offering support for President Trump and his agenda and policies” ("Proving my point," July 2).

He bases his call on an obvious factual blunder, his erroneous insistence that “the American voter stated quite emphatically - we support the Trump agenda and policies he spelled out quite clearly during the 2016 campaign.”

Only in an Orwellian Trump-Wilkinson doublespeak world of alternative facts could winning 46 percent of the popular vote be considered a national endorsement of every single one of the winner’s positions. Fifty-four percent of voters selected someone other than Trump, yet Robert Wilkinson asks us to believe that this somehow proves majority national support for Trump.

Support for Trump has declined since the election. As of July 3, Trump’s approval rating was just 39.5 percent, according to weighed polls reported by FiveThirtyEight.com. Rasmussen Reports, whose polls are historically the most friendly to the GOP, says that 56 percent of Americans disapprove of the president.

And there is a second fatal flaw in Robert Wilkinson’s claim. Surely not even the boldest Trump loyalist would claim that every Trump voter endorsed 100 percent of his proposed policies. One voter might have vigorously applauded Trump’s promise to ban Muslims, but vigorously opposed his position on climate change, or vice versa.

Not even Donald Trump himself supported all of his own positions, judging from his flip flops and contradictions, and his post-election walk-backs.

But wait, even after reducing the 46 percent as a measure of endorsement, there’s more. Does Robert Wilkinson want us to believe that no one voted for Trump simply to reject Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party? More than a few voters did, of course, just as some Clinton voters were not endorsing her, just rejecting Trump or his party.

Even enthusiastic Trump voters cannot be expected to continue their support when President Trump works against one our another of the promises made by Candidate Trump.

Wilkinson’s rebuttal ignores my evidence for saying that. For example, Candidate Trump promised a big wall paid for by Mexico, but President Trump wants a partial fence paid for by American taxpayers. Candidate Trump promised health care coverage for everyone, better than they have now, and cheaper. But voters who end up with no coverage or unaffordable coverage under Trumpcare cannot reasonably be asked to continue their support.

A vote is not a loyalty oath, and Trump broke the contract with his voters first.

Consider Obamacare and Trumpcare. Neither the House nor the first Senate version of Trumpcare (both of which Trump supported) would do what Trump promised, as Republicans have acknowledged. Even Robert Wilkinson, in a quiet moment of non-partisan common sense, must recognize that Trumpcare would leave millions without health insurance, and leave others with reduced health coverage despite increasing their deductibles and co-pays, all while providing tax cuts to the wealthy.

Robert Wilkinson says he is a registered Democrat, and refers to his “beloved party.” But he sure does sound like a GOP and Trump loyalist. He asks the Democratic Party to support the policies of the Republican president. And he relentlessly attacks liberal Democrats, labeling them “simple little brains,” “children,” and “socialists” who use “Marxist/Communist tactics” to work against the national interest. That is some Democrat.

Robert Wilkinson labels me a “Democrat [sic] party loyalist at all costs” and claims that my last letter proves his complaint about the tactics of “the liberal branch of the Democrat [sic] Party.”

Wrong: I am not even a registered Democrat. If Wilkinson can find a single endorsing compliment I have given the Democrats in any of my letters, let him produce it.

You don’t have to be a Democrat to oppose a Robert Wilkinson belief, just a person opposed to that belief. I think most politicians in both parties work more for their personal and party benefit than for the national interest, and that absolutely includes President Trump. Both parties seem to me to be deeply flawed, prioritizing re-election, indebted to donors and special interests, dishonest in speech, and in need of serious reform. This belief makes me an unlikely candidate to be called a “Democrat [sic] party loyalist at all costs.”

Many who are not party loyalists are willing to criticize or compliment either party, issue by issue or action by action. Trump scuttled the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and I am glad that he did. But having considered Democrat Robert Wilkinson’s reiterated call to support the president, I still prefer Republican Teddy Roosevelt’s advice.

Teddy Roosevelt said of presidents that "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

Stephen Sossaman

Burbank

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